Cert: 12A; Now showing
A universe away from Errol Flynn and green tights, Robin Hood is hereby fitted with black leather and heavy mascara, and told to get with the moody, gloomy disposition of these uncertain times. Director Otto Bathurst and co-writers Ben Chandler and David James Kelly have also done away with “ye olde England” and brought the swashbuckling thief to a glossy steampunk dimension rife with sleek tailoring and designer stubble.
Cheeky chappie Taron Egerton ( The Kingsman) looks like he’s been dropped on to the cobbled streets following a Camden pub-crawl. He is Robin of Loxley, a young lord whose romance with Marian (Eve Hewson) is waylaid when he is drafted to fight in the Crusades.
An act of mercy for a Moorish fighter called John (Jamie Foxx) lands him on a boat back to Notting- ham. There, he reunites with John and decides to take on the dastardly sheriff (Ben Mendelsohn) who is taxing the poor to the hilt. Believing Robin to be dead, Marian, meanwhile, has hooked up with Jamie Dornan’s local do-gooder.
Arrows thwump into bad guys, Mendelsohn hams up the nasty scowls, and Hewson is squeezed shamelessly into a series of plunging necklines. So cartoonish is this version of the medieval period that you find yourself reassessing Kevin Costner’s mulleted 1990s incarnation, which now feels like a gritty docudrama (and a very compelling one at that) by comparison.
Silliness aside, Robin Hood is devoid of atmosphere, as well as being thin on plot and overly reliant on bombastic hijinks. Even its all-star cast seem unsure of themselves despite all those lavish sets and intricate fight choreography. Strictly for “tweens”.
Jamie Foxx and Taron Egerton inRobin Hood